I will periodically publish ‘think about it’ posts to spark some thoughts about sport that extend beyond the game. Welcome to the first!
I will never forget the picture of Lebron James after the Miami Heat lost their final game of the season with tears streaming down his face as he crippled to his knees in bitter defeat. His teammates quickly joined his side and embraced him with gestures of comfort. Now, picture another scenario of a 6’8” grown man in the middle of a grocery store sobbing while other men surround and console him with hugs and whispers of encouragement. Doesn’t really seem as acceptable, right? It’s easier for our mind to fathom a woman in the aisle crying as people comfort her tears. Faith is another example of individual expression that is highly frowned upon in every public sphere other than church and, for some reason, on the athletic field. It isn’t uncommon to see an athlete stretch their arm firmly in the air and point to the sky after a homerun hit or a beautiful deflection into the cage. They are recognizing a higher power beyond the clouds for helping them succeed. More often than not, you don’t see glances of disappointment or hear ridicule for these actions, do you? Other displays include; A baseball player patting his teammate on the butt after a good play, a team praying on the field before a game, dog piles with men laying on top of each other, the list goes on.
What is it about the sports arena that allows male and female athletes to break societal norms without the burden of judgment?
Feel free to comment!